I regularly invite schools up to Parliament to show them round the Palace of Westminster, one of Britain's most historic buildings, and I regularly visit schools across Wealden, one of the most rewarding parts of being an MP. If you are interested in a tour of Parliament for your school, or would like me to visit your school, please get in touch either by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 020 7219 4619.
Previously, I hosted Sacred Heart School, Wadhurst, Frant CoE Primary School, Rotherfield Primary School, Blackboys and Framfield Schools, Uplands Community College in Wadhurst, Bede’s School and others.
I also run the Ghani Ambsassador Programme, a week-long programme involving working with myself and my team in Parliament where students get the opportunity to gain an insight into the day to day work of an MP, attend debates and Select Committee meetings, as well as learning skills such as how to debate, prepare briefing documents and monitor campaigns. The hands-on experience concludes with a day in the constituency where the students join me on local visits and meetings to learn about my work in Wealden.
I visited Hellingly Primary School to discuss issues regarding traffic and parking and I am supporting them in getting the situation resolved or at the very least improved. I have made urgent representations to the Director of East Sussex County Council Highways department, and I hope that measures can be introduced to provide safe and better access to the school.
I regularly work with Hailsham Community College and I am proud to be championing their annual careers fair. The Careers Fair exhibits various work opportunities locally and nationally, broadens the horizons of our young people and inspires their future career choices.
Welden Hero Awards for Wealden teachers: I greatly appreciate the swift adaptation of schools to provide essential education children throughout the pandemic and invent original ways to keep pupils motivated. I was delighted to present two Wealden teachers - Annette Stow, Headteacher at St Mark’s CE Primary School in Hadlow Down and Heidi Greenwood, Primary school teacher in Hailsham, with the Wealden Hero Award!
RESULT! Fletching CE Primary School saved from closure
Following anxious and extensive campaigning, community coordinated submissions, face-to-face meetings with East Sussex County Council (ESCC) and lobbying of the Education Minister, has resulted in the much awaited news that Fletching CE Primary School is no longer under threat of closure. It has been a long and hard campaign and I am pleased that the voices of my constituents have been heard by the council. I am pleased that the whole Fletching community worked together to present a powerful strategic case in supporting the super local school.
New school opening - Ropemakers Academy, Hailsham (October 2021)
I was delighted to visit this fantastic new addition to Wealden education services to celebrate its official opening and meet the Headteacher Simon Hawthorne. The Ropemakers Academy is an incredible facility, fully equipped to allow its pupils to flourish. Every child in this country, irrespective of their background, must have the opportunity to get a world-class education and reach their potential. This includes children with special educational needs and disabilities, and children in alternative provision. Free schools play an important role in our education system and I am delighted that we have this fantastic new state-of-the-art school with dedicated specialist teachers in Hailsham.
Covid-19 support for schools
During the Covid-19 pandemic, I remained regular contact with Wealden schools to listen to their concerns and provide advice, help and representation. I advocated for greater mental and physical wellbeing support for Wealden children and urged the Government to put a rigorous health support package in place for our children.
I also added my voice to the 'UsForThem' campaign to get schools back to normal. Set up in May 2020 in response to the first wave of closures of schools across the UK, re-opening schools remains the primary campaign.
I'm pleased that pupils across East Sussex have benefited from 3,729 laptops and tablets to date, as the Government hits an important milestone in its rollout of devices to support disadvantaged young people.
Securing Government funding
- Facility improvements: I'm pleased that my campaign to secure additional funding for Wealden schools has resulted in four schools being allocated funding to improve their facilities on July 2020. Wealden’s Beacon Academy, Hailsham Community College, St Mary’s School, Sir Henry Fermor Church of England Primary School were amongst the successful applications and will benefit from upgraded facilities and enhanced learning environment.
- Government’s three-year funding commitment for schools: In 2019, the Government announced the biggest cash boost to school funding in a decade, worth a total of £14.4 billion over three years. On average, funding per pupil in Wealden will increase by 4.5% in 2021-22 to an average of £4,877 per pupil. Primary schools across Wealden will benefit from an average of £4,477 per pupil and for Secondary schools the average is £5,556 per pupil.
- Funding for Bowles outdoor education centre: Sixteen charities in Wealden have received funding from the £200m Coronavirus Community Support Fund, totalling £237,956. Bowles Rocks Trust is one of the recipients.
Outdoor educational visits are vital in delivering rounded learning experiences that our children have been missing throughout the pandemic. I visited Bowles centre to learn about the hardships faced by the sector and advocated for them in Parliament to remain open for residential education visits for children.
Securing £1.3 million for Crowborough's Beacon Academy - July 2021
Following two years of continuous efforts and campaigning, I am proud to have helped secure over £1.3 million for upgrades to Crowborough school Beacon Academy for building upgrades via the highly competitive Government Condition Improvement Fund (CIF).
My team and I have been instrumental in supporting Beacon Academy on what has been a long journey to securing funding to improve the roof at its Sixth Form Centre. This process has been ongoing for almost four years and the successful outcome of the applications was confirmed last week.
Beacon Academy has been awarded a total of £1,395,496 to address significant condition need, keeping education provider buildings safe and in good working order.
Beacon Academy Headteacher, Anna Robinson, said: “We are absolutely delighted at long last to have been awarded the CIF for our Sixth Form Centre roof, and also the funding for phase two of the continued upgrades to our Fire Alarm System on both sites. I am extremely grateful for the support from Nusrat and the teamwork it has taken to get to this stage. These improvements will make a huge difference to not only our students, but the students who attend Grove Park School on both of our Beacon Academy sites. We are looking forward to working alongside Nusrat in the future, with our future applications to further enhance our facilities at Beacon Academy for our students and the wider community.”
Nusrat Ghani said: “I am absolutely thrilled about this brilliant news. This is a great win for Beacon Academy teachers and leadership team, and it will be of great benefit to local students. Along with my team I have been campaigning for two long years on behalf of Beacon Academy and it has been a long journey of many meetings with the Education Department. I am so pleased that persistence and perseverance has helped deliver over £1.3 million for Crowborough. After another extraordinary academic year, the confirmation of this success was much-needed good news for Beacon Academy. The boost in funding will ensure that students at Beacon Academy can thrive in an improved environment and better facilities, enabling them to fulfil their potential. It’s a good day for Crowborough, good day for Wealden and I look forward to cracking on and securing more support or our communities. I want to ensure that every child in Wealden gets the same education funding and opportunities as pupils across East Sussex and the rest of the country, and I will continue to lobby the Government to ensure better and fairer education funding."